Stream Explorers is a program ran jointly by Collegiate Peaks Anglers chapter of Trout Unlimited (CPA) and Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA).

We had a great opening Stream Explorers session today! Ten students showed up (slightly fewer than the 15 who signed up), and so we had plenty volunteers to work with everyone. We started the day with a short introduction of Trout Unlimited, talked about the entire program, and within 10 minutes the kids were pulling on gum boots and getting ready for gathering samples.

The river ran about 550cfs, water was clear and beautiful. Everybody found tons of tiny stoneflies, blood midges, and midge and mayfly husks. The big cranefly larvae surprised everybody, and the golden stoneflies looked scary too :)

After examining the samples and identifying the different bugs, each student got a green plastic bottle to build their own aquatic ecosystem. They got three stalks of Elodea (a pond green) and a few goldfish to complete the picture. The students took the bottles home and will bring them back next week — we’ll see what survived!

Then it was time for various science experiments with brine shrimp, or sea monkeys as some called them. Do they like heat or cold, light or darkness, top or bottom of water column.

And for the last activity of the day, everybody took one of the aquatic insects and put them into little pendants to wear proudly.

A big thank you to all the volunteers! Ed Eberly, Dominique Naccarato, Norm Lastovica, Mike Perry, Fred Rasmussen, Wendell Winger, and Alihah Trujillo.